When a married couple is faced with long term care for one of them, whether at home or in a nursing home, the fear of financial ruin is strong. But Congress has passed what is called the spousal impoverishment rules, which is the opposite of how it sounds. The are designed to protect a significant portion of your life’s savings, and if used properly, these laws will protect most of a typical family’s assets, but they must be transferred into the healthy spouse’s name. That may require having the all important Power of Attorney if the sick spouse cannot sign.
Many families needing in home care for a parent use children or other relatives to provide that care. The family members often feel they should do that care without compensation, out of love and loyalty. But if they cannot afford to go without pay, that can cause much financial harm and distress for them. It is often a difficult subject to discuss if that elderly family member needs help with bathing, dressing, toileting or transferring from bed or chair to another place.
Everyone owning a house or stocks should be aware of the capital gains tax rules. Both the federal and state governments impose a tax on the sale of real estate or stocks that have gone up in value over the years. But the tax laws have important exemptions that can result in no tax, or even a capital loss rule that will reduce taxes on your other income..
Many clients come to our office with the goal of creating a Last Will so that they can be assured assets go where they want without hassle. What many do not realize is that the Will is only used if probate is needed. This document expresses your final wishes, and tells everyone where you probate assets must go. However it is just a set of wishes until submitted to the probate court. Once the court agrees that the Will is valid it is admitted by the court, and is now the set of the rules that your Executor must follow..
People don’t consume their lives thinking about what happens to their “estate” after they pass away, but some thought must be given at some point so that unwanted results don’t occur. By way of example, let’s look at a family with both parents alive and two children. If the children are minors, or even in their twenties, they should not get a large chunk of money if the parents suddenly die. Their inheritance is best put into a trust that can be used for them and continues for their benefit until they get to an age where they have the maturity and experience not to waste the money. That differs based on each child.
A certain percentage of the elderly are going to be faced with a health care problem
that requires payment for long time care. Those services are not cheap, even if in the home, instead of an institution. What long range planning can you do so that your family is prepared for a sudden medical event such as a stroke, or gradual debilitation due to physical or cognitive decline?.